It's official. Along with the Hollywood nightclub Social it's located within, Citrus, a California-French restaurant, has closed. Last month, a Citrus PR rep., who spoke with us on the phone, said the restaurant was transitioning, but could not disclose any concrete details at that time. A former employee, “Al 'the token black guy'” on Yelp wrote on December 20, 2009, that Citrus is “closed until further notice! That is right. They waited til everyone that worked there got there to give us the news. What lies ahead? Noone knows. Anyway, it was a good run & now I am off to look for another job. They say they will be back but that remains to be be seen. Thanks for the memories.” Fortunately, for Al, he has found subsequent employment. Don't know about his former workplace.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for us to make, however we feel it was the right one at the time,” said Terry Zarikian, director of product development for China Grill Management, which managed Citrus at Social. Due to pending litigation, Zarikian could not make any further comments. Though surprising to some (its employees namely), this is not the first time the restaurant has appeared closed. At about this time last year, LA Times food critic, S. Irene Virbila, who gave the restaurant 3 stars in 2008, visited the eatery on a Tuesday night, per the restaurant phone message and Web site information, only to find its doors closed.
Even while open (with limited dinner hours from Thursday through Saturday), Citrus did not enjoy the smoothest ride. A recap: In February 2008, New York entrepreneur Jeffrey Chodorow and consulting chef Michel Richard opened Citrus at Social Hollywood and hired chef Remi Lauvand. In August of that year, Lauvand was let go. Shortly thereafter, chef de cuisine Omri Aflalo took over, and departed in February 2009. When Aflalo left in May of last year, Richard quit, and Alain Giraud was supposed to replace him, a plan that never materialized. Now, it appears this rollercoaster of a restaurant has taken its last ride. Jonathan Gold will have to find a new spot for the best fries in town.
Citrus at Social, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 337-9797.